Thomas Cutbush – The Number One Suspect of the Jack the Ripper Murders
Thomas Cutbush has been an increasingly prominent suspect since 1894, when the Sun newspaper ran articles implicating him in the Jack the Ripper murders. Yet experts still can’t reach an understanding of all available evidence and come to any firm conclusion regarding who killed whom.
He worked in the tea trade as both a clerk and traveller before transitioning into canvassing for an online directory. Furthermore, he was an active writer while studying medical books during the daytime hours.
Early Life and Education
According to Bullock’s book, Cutbush was born and lived with his mother and aunt in Kennington. Following the death of his father when he was young, his female relatives took great pleasure in doting on him and doting on him accordingly – this led some people to accuse him of being spoilt and obsessed with surgery; it is said he would study medical books by day while wandering about at night looking for surgery patients and returning with blood-splattered clothes!
His aunt and mother worried that he had become aggressive, so they brought him to St Saviour’s Workhouse where attendants noted his disinterest in his surroundings and often declined visits from relatives. Additionally, his temper flared and threatened workers and patients alike with knives – leading them to commit him later to Broadmoor.
Cutbush wrote to Benjamin Silliman at length in 1820 about an innovative modification he had devised for an improved Voltaic electric lamp, an ingenious modification which became one of many contributions he would later submit to the American Journal of Science that would cement his fame.
At about this time, he began acting strangely. A member of the Church of England and employed as a schoolmaster, his behavior became very suspicious.
He began associating with prostitutes and began believing they were responsible for his illnesses, frequently losing his temper and becoming dangerous to staff at Broadmoor; threatening them with knives while believing they were plotting against him and conspiring against his life. Recently, all his files from Broadmoor have been made public.
Achievement and Honors
Cutbush quickly became one of the Loblolly Boys Corps’ favorite members during his time there and frequently participated in parades and training methods such as drill and physical exercise. Additionally, he spoke regularly at annual meetings as a regular speaker as well as writing articles related to medical topics.
Cutbush was arrested for Whitechapel murders in 1891, whereupon an investigating police officer noted a connection between Cutbush and these crimes and Cutbush himself, prompting suspicions that Cutbush may be Jack the Ripper himself.
Cutbush was sent to Broadmoor Hospital after his trial. While there, he became violent, often attacking attendants and having paranoid delusions that his food was being poisoned and doctors conspired against him.
Thomas Cutbush endured an extremely challenging childhood. His father passed away when he was still young, leaving no support system for him or any family members to lean on.
In 1888 he began to experience delusions attributed to syphilis that may have contributed to his mental breakdown. He attacked one woman before being sent to Lambeth Infirmary but managed to escape before eventually being committed to Broadmoor Hospital.
While at Broadmoor, he would frequently threaten staff and patients with knives, as well as making violent drawings depicting mutilated women. Given these factors, he is an intriguing candidate for Whitechapel murders; however, due to his mental state at the time of these crimes and lack of any connections to prostitutes it makes him unlikely.
One author working on a book about Jack the Ripper murders believes that Cutbush’s file at Broadmoor hospital, with detailed admission notes and other documents, could shed light on who many consider to be their main suspect: this man of few words believed people were plotting against him and felt compelled to kill all of them with knives.
At his arrest, it is reported that he was found with blood-splattered clothes and an object used as a gag in his mouth; furthermore he was violent and had an identifiable limp which corresponded with eyewitness accounts of his killer’s movements; nonetheless, due to these details police quickly committed him to Broadmoor thereby sidestepping any sensational trial that may have ensued.